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Breast Augmentation Recovery

Silicone gel breast implants

Breast augmentation is among the most requested plastic surgery procedures in the U.S. Knowing what to expect after breast implant surgery can help patients better prepare both mentally and physically for the recovery process.

Every patient’s healing response and pain tolerance is unique, so experiences recovering from breast enhancement surgery can vary dramatically. Beyond factors like age and overall physical health, women must also consider surgical variables such as:

  • The technique used
  • Type of implants (saline, silicone, or form-stable)
  • Implant placement

Implants placed under the pectoral muscle generally yield a more desirable result, but the healing process is slightly longer than above-muscle placement.

Having plastic surgery of any kind is a major decision, and Dr. Thomas Loeb takes a proactive approach when it comes to empowering his patients with knowledge. Prior to the procedure, patients are provided with in-depth explanations about what to expect and timelines for breast augmentation recovery in NYC.

Recovery timeline for breast augmentation

Most patients can plan to resume their normal work routine within 2 weeks of breast augmentation surgery, though swelling and discomfort can linger for another month or so.

  • 2-4 Days Post Op: Breasts will be swollen and sensitive to the touch. Expect some redness, bruising and general discomfort that can be alleviated with OTC or prescription medication. Wait at least 48 hours post-surgery before taking a shower.
  • 1 Week Post Op: Patients should be feeling more like themselves, but some degree of swelling and discomfort is normal. Please avoid any strenuous movements, including heavy lifting and bending.
  • 2 Weeks Post Op: Pain should be minimal at this point, and most patients are ready to resume their normal routines and activities. Those with physically-demanding jobs are asked to rest for at least 3 weeks.
  • 4-6 Weeks Post Op:  The hardest part of the recovery process is over, and most women can resume light exercise at this point. Since the chest is still healing, it’s best to avoid things like jogging, horseback riding and other activities that target the arms and chest.

Though rare, some patients may experience complications that can delay the recovery process. While varying degrees of swelling, bruising, and discomfort are normal after the procedure, extreme redness, signs of wound infection, and hematoma require prompt investigation.

Breast augmentation recovery tips

How long does it take for a breast augmentation to heal? In the majority of patients, the initial healing process lasts anywhere from two to three weeks, though you won’t see the final results for another month or two.

Keep in mind that it takes up to 6 weeks for breast implants to drop into a more natural position. Don’t be alarmed if your perky implants are sitting unusually high on your chest or feel slightly hard in the immediate days after your surgery. This will all change as your body acclimates and the implants settle and soften to the touch.

Improve your chances of a smooth recovery and pleasing results by following these post-op tips:

  • Follow all of Dr. Loeb’s post-op instructions and reach out if you have any concerns
  • Wear compression garments and ‘recovery’ bras as instructed
  • Clear your schedule and allow time for plenty of rest in the first week—sleep is your friend!
  • If you had drains inserted, empty them three times per day, recording the amount of fluid
  • Eat nutritious foods and stay hydrated to help promote healing
  • Take proper care of incisions as directed
  • Attend all post-operative appointments
  • Take pain medication and antibiotics as prescribed
  • Wear loose-fitting, button-up shirts or dresses that you don’t have to slip over your head
  • Gently massage the breast implants as instructed to minimize swelling and prevent capsular contracture
  • Avoid hot baths, Jacuzzis, swimming pools, or ocean water for at least two weeks
  • Avoid stomach or side sleeping; try to sleep on your back, propped up with pillows
  • Resume light to moderate exercise after 4 weeks, taking care to avoid jarring movements in the chest area
  • Avoid rigorous physical activity until you are fully healed

If you have small children, arrange for a friend, family member or caregiver to help out for the first couple of weeks after your surgery, as you should not be picking up anything heavy (toddlers included!) Depending on your pain levels, things like housework and meal prep can be a challenge, so it makes sense to plan ahead and reach out for assistance before your breast augmentation surgery.

Healthy recovery from breast augmentation in New York City

Breast implant surgery can be incredibly taxing on the body, but with proper knowledge of the recovery process, patients can move forward with confidence. In the end, successful breast augmentation in NYC depends on the skill of your surgeon, your post-operative compliance, and the body’s healing response.

Dr. Thomas Loeb’s beautiful breast augmentation results speak to his experience, artistic eye, and exceptional skill. To schedule a private consultation at his Fifth Avenue office, please call today.

Additional Resources:

  1. VeryWellHealth, Breast Augmentation Recovery Overview https://www.verywellhealth.com/how-to-care-for-your-breasts-after-breast-augmentation-2709756
  2. ASPS, Breast augmentation recovery – what you need to know https://www.plasticsurgery.org/news/blog/breast-augmentation-recovery-what-you-need-to-know
  3. Healthline, What’s It Like to Recover from Breast Augmentation Surgery https://www.healthline.com/health/breast-augmentation-recovery

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